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Resistance as a Divine Gift December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 11) Resistance as a Divine Gift.
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I think I can make a fair argument that resistance is a divine gift. At the very least, it’s the closest thing we can ever find to being a divine gift. I like to watch televangelists when they talk about heaven. It’s a very interesting thing to hear them describe a heaven that is free of resistance. They can get the congregation all wound up in a tizzy that makes them feel “reeeeal good.” Little do they know that they are denying what is possibly the greatest gift of life: resistance—the force that makes our very consciousness possible. Without taking a few moments from their busy lives to check out their fragmented ideas, they wish for total unconsciousness, death. They are, unknowingly, asking God to destroy their lives.

We’ve established that resistance is necessary. I’ve heard resistance referred to as “divine force” or “divine resistance,” implying that it came from higher intelligence. My personal preference, if I were to refer to it as divine, would be “the divine element” of the four elements, drive, resistance, culmination, and result. Certainly we’ve established that it is vital to awareness or consciousness—to life itself. It is a most difficult thing to see this divine element as a gift, however. Even those who have devoted a major part of their lives to Godly studies will deny that resistance is divine. I mentioned that I like to watch the high-octane televangelists. They almost universally see resistance as evil. I’ve many times heard something like this.

“The devil is working to keep you from having the benefits in life that God wants you to have.” This is usually reference to money, objects, or so-called success, or some other gratification of our basic urges. We live in a bizarre, upside-down world when the supposed spiritual leaders teach that resistance is from the devil.

What about the possibility of seeing resistance something of value? We’ve established that it’s necessary for our very existence, but maybe there are more plusses to this. How about that college education that we were speaking of? Obviously, a college degree has value in the job market or for some sort of recognition, but what gives it that value? Suppose you could go down to the local college and pay some nominal fee to have a college education poured into your ear from a jug? If that were the case then every Tom, Dick, and Harry in town would have a degree and it would be meaningless. The fact that resistance makes a degree difficult to obtain is the very thing that gives it value. How about the difficult and time-consuming task of driving that nail we were talking about? I have an air-nailer that I use occasionally that overcomes some of the resistance of setting nails. Someone has made a bundle money by manufacturing and selling air-nailers.

Were it not for the need to overcome the resistance to driving nails, we wouldn’t have a market for air-nailers and a people wouldn’t be employed in that business. How about that trip to the market that we were talking about? We might get in a fender bender on the way to the market and that is resistance. If we didn’t have the potential for car wrecks, an entire collision repair industry wouldn’t exist. We would all be unemployed were it not for resistance. If we stop and take a look at it from a strictly pragmatic view, we pay construction workers to overcome the resistance to building houses; we pay lawyers to overcome the resistance to wading through the legal system; the grocer is in business because of the resistance to hunting and gathering food. This second element of the four elements not only gives us life itself, but it gives that life value at every turn.

What do you think our outlook on life would be if we could see so completely that when resistance came along, we could see its value? What sort of attitude do you think we would have if we had that outlook? Do you think it may be possible to be thankful when some rude person flips us off when we’re driving down the road? After all, it is an opportunity to see if we’re paying attention to those trolls. If there were no trolls, we would have no need for a major purpose of our awareness function. How could we have the awareness function if there were nothing to be aware of?

If we carefully and diligently look, maybe we can see that resistance has a value. There is a trick to this. There is no way that I know of to force oneself to see the value in resistance. …Does that entirely confuse everyone? That would be like pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. This is again one of those occasions when we try to do things backwards. What we can do is observe the self in action when resistance arises and we realize that we’re getting the urge to use a string of four-letter words. Our only chance is to observe that we don’t value resistance or that we see it as having a negative value.

Remember our little talk regarding the maxim of a given quality or trait? “The greatest restriction to experiencing a particular trait is the belief that we already have it.” What if I turn this around and work it to my benefit? This is a pivotal point worth checking out. The trait that I’m observing is that I hate resistance. I’m doin’ the high-octane preacher thing and repeating this. The observation that I am making of self is that I hate resistance. Are we getting this? I cannot force myself to like resistance.

What we have done here is made an objective observation of self, without condemning or justifying the observed and without trying to change the observed. I’m looking at self and watching the hatred of resistance. The self and its trait is the observed. This is the trait I am observing in self when this particular troll raises its head. I’m going to change one or two words in that maxim that I quoted. “The greatest restriction to experiencing a trait is the observation that we already have it.” When we observe the quality of self, in this case that self hates resistance, that observation is the first and last step in going in a new direction. This maxim works both ways. This is the message we will send to Delta, and only Delta has the ability to de-claw this troll.

Do you want to try that experiment? Put that counting device in your pocket and see how often you get disgusted with the element of resistance. This can be an eye opener. How embarrassing would it be if you had the opportunity to meet your maker and you had to fess up that you hated your greatest gift?

Questions?

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Meditation December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 12) Meditation.
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PARTICIPANT: Where does meditation fit into all of this—to gaining an understanding of life and the way it works? I have tried a couple of different types of meditation with some degree of success, in that it does bring about a sense of quietness and clarity of thought. You seem to have some things well ironed out, and I guess I’m wondering if you meditate for clarity and understanding. Some of the eastern practitioners can even reduce their heartbeat and change brainwaves and so on.

WW: As with most questions, you’ve brought up several points. Let’s first ask, “What is meditation?” …Go ahead. What is meditation?

PARTICIPANT: I use a mantra. I concentrate on that until I find that relaxed state where I can feel that I am “one” …that I have a degree of clarity of thought.

WW: All right, do we want to address concentration first?

PARTICIPANT: Concentration. Good.

WW: I prefer to go through ideas point by point. We tend to go from one point to another without stopping to examine the validity of any one point, like a frog jumping from one lily pad to another, making a simple observation into something quite complex. It can be very difficult to communicate with people in most venues because people very rarely want to really listen to anyone, even themselves. They hear a point, look at it with the same old partial view, then immediately drop it, and move on to another partial idea. In this way, people don’t have to listen.

Communication ceases. In this venue I have a bit of a cakewalk because I can manipulate the format instead of jumping into questions without examining each point. In fact, I would like to thank everyone here today for bearing with me as we go through these points so slowly.

You can find this phenomenon in the writings or speech among people of all levels of education or intellect. Those who are of higher intellect and education use more twenty dollar words and elaborate sentences to fool themselves with a higher level complexity. Still, one can slowly and intentionally read through a text and critically evaluate the position of the author. I don’t know about anyone else, but my mental processes operate too slowly to ever consider speed-reading. For me, speed-reading would be like plugging myself into a data cable and absorbing whatever came through. I prefer to have less information, but understand it well.

Okay, concentration and a mantra. Although I have never been a practitioner of mantra meditation, except for a few trials, I’ll give it to them that it can increase the power of concentration, possibly to the degree of major physiological changes. I, however, am not interested in furthering the concentration of the awareness function. My interest is, instead, to see if we can work on expanding the awareness from the miserable, fragmented state that it is usually in. Anyone can sit and chant and concentrate and work oneself into some sort of state. Hell, I can lie down for my afternoon nap and be in a different state in a manner of minutes. None of this, though, has anything to do with the serious work of dis-identifying with the self.

I’ll go further on this matter and state that meditation may even be detrimental because it encourages an individual to ignore the trolls. All of the guru talk about “unlimited consciousness” or “pure awareness” or some similar tripe is nothing but empty words when they devote nothing to re-examining one’s ideologies. Of course, a guru won’t give his students legitimate instructions about examining the validity of convention! To do so would be to lose their followers! When someone sets himself up as an authority, would he then tell you to question authority? What do you think these gurus are doing when they hook up to sensors to monitor their heartbeat and brainwaves? Aren’t they trying to set themselves up as authorities by pushing evidence that they are right? Aren’t they going against the idea that we have been discussing, pushing their authority instead of examining authority?

We have trolls on side two of our picture that seek out authority—trolls that are “true believers”—trolls that look for a measurement of success. The gurus play on our urges, rather than exposing our urges. I’ll say that again in different words. The meditation gurus, rather than encouraging the examination of conditioning, gain followers by taking advantage of conditioning.

This reminds me of an incident whereby a young lady was sitting in the officially authorized position, contemplating her officially recognized “center,” chanting her officially authorized word, when she became a bit irate as she was disturbed by someone. Did we get that? For all of the effort that she put into this, her basic and unrecognized drive was to be undisturbed, our most basic interest. Obviously, the driving force in doing meditation was to gain pleasure and avoid pain. Our most basic worldly drive had gotten completely past her! I enjoy an occasional shot of whiskey, but I would never claim that is has some sort of purpose for spiritual advancement!

Let’s talk about another point of your question: the sense of quietness. I’m not making an argument that meditation doesn’t give a sense of quietness. Does that quiet come after a day of inner conflict? Isn’t the effort of meditation put it to use after the fact? Can a person meditate during the middle of an intense business deal? Can a person meditate while being flipped off by a rude driver on the freeway? I’m not interested in some stopgap measure that’s too little, too late. I’m interested in a more pragmatic approach. I’m interested in working with a way of seeing events throughout the day on a moment-by-moment basis. All of the meditation in the world will just be one more way of evading the real issue, which is, “How do I see?” If we can recall a discussion that we had earlier, the determining factor of our attitude is how we see the world, self, and events.

Meditation is about the past and the future. That “how do I see” question must be answered on a continuing basis, not the evening after or the morning before.

Do you want to check out another aspect of meditation? One that is possibly less examined and less understood?

PARTICIPANT: Hey man, I’m into this. Let’s do another one. I have got some meditating friends that need to be here for this.

WW: How about a question of violence? Is there anyone in this room who would advocate violence against another person for having a view of which we disapprove? Would anyone here use psychological force on another person because of his or her view? Would you shut down someone during a discussion because you didn’t like what he or she said? Would you keep saying, “Shut up, shut up, shut up” until the other person relented and quit expressing his or her opinion? Wouldn’t it be a form of violence to use any means of force or coercion to silence another person?

We usually think of violence in terms of physical violence, silencing someone by punching him in the mouth. Maybe there isn’t a person in this room who has ever done anything like that, so we can think of ourselves as nonviolent …but there are other forms of violence. We could even go so for as calling a dirty look a form of violence because it’s a type of force or coercion against another person. That may sound a bit extreme at first, to refer to that as violence, but let’s look closer. I’ve been busted up quite a few times over the years in various types of accidents, but the pain and suffering from physical pain pales in comparison to the pain and suffering from inner turmoil. I would even go so far as to say that the inner turmoil is more real than the physical pain. Wouldn’t it be a fair statement to say that any type of force or coercion is a form of violence?

PARTICIPANT: How does this relate to meditation?

WW: We asked the question earlier, “What is meditation?” The holy men and gurus of the east recognized, centuries past, that inner turmoil was standing in the way of inner peace. What to do? They obviously didn’t realize that the key was in understanding self, so they reverted to what they knew, and that was force and coercion. If a person repeats a word, slogan, or mantra for long enough they can, in effect, shout down the trolls. I assert that chanting silences the trolls by what is a hypnotic means. I wouldn’t argue that it doesn’t work. Perhaps it works very well. It is, however, a form of self-coercion, a violation of awareness function. It is only very temporary and it doesn’t address the issue of the trolls any more than does a shot of whiskey. Can you see how meditation can be a violation of the awareness function?

PARTICIPANT: But that doesn’t mean meditation is violent.

WW: If meditation and the chanting of a mantra is a violation to the awareness function, forcing the shutdown of the awareness function or the trolls, then it must be violent. The purpose of meditation is to quiet the loud party that’s going on inside—to quiet the trolls. I don’t want to quiet the trolls; I want to understand them. Look, why are we doing things from back to front?

How about this for an experiment? Go down to the shopping mall, slowly walk against pedestrian traffic and put a stupid, gawking look on your face. Watch and wait for one of your trolls to jump in and try to take over when someone at the mall gives you a disturbing look. Make this troll-hunting business into a game. You may find that it’s fun. The little boogers may hide behind a rock and peep out to see if you’re looking for them. They don’t want to come out and make too much trouble when they see that you’re looking for them. The trolls are most active during active relationships. Hell’s bells, the trolls aren’t going to come out and give you any trouble when you’re meditating!
Look at what comedians do. They say the most embarrassing and self-deprecating things in front of throngs of people, but they aren’t a bit embarrassed. They’re not trying to eliminate embarrassment, they’re looking for it, but they instead find humor.

PARTICIPANT: I’m not getting this business of meditation and coercion. I’m interested in meditation as a means to be free from inner turmoil. Isn’t that what all of our talk is about, to be free from inner turmoil?

WW: No. Do you see the inner turmoil in the statement that you just made?

PARTICIPANT: No.

WW: We’re very insensitive. Excuse me, but I’m not picking you out of the crowd. I said “we.” We’re very insensitive in this regard. Movies and television depict blood and body parts being splattered around. We have conflicts with others in the workplace. We have conflicts in business deals. We have family conflicts. These are all inner conflicts even though we usually see them as only outer conflicts. We have so much and so many conflicts that the noise of the greater conflicts obscures the lesser ones so we are unaware of them. Any time we see something and then project an image that is bigger or better than what we see, we are participating in the stress of duality, unless of course we have dis-identified with the self and see the ideal as an illusion.

One of your trolls has tricked you and you’re certainly not the first to fall for this one. Inner turmoil is what you see, and the elimination of inner turmoil is your projected image. With my usual redundancy, your sense of conflict is what you see as the event. The elimination of that conflict is your image of something better. You’re in turmoil from the beginning. You see that you have inner turmoil and you want to escape from it. Don’t try to be free from it. To try and be free from something is turmoil. Instead, be free to experience it. “Free from” and “free to” are quite different things. The urge to be free from what we see is the beginning of violence. This may sound like a rather innocuous form of violence, but it’s what keeps the emotions churning and keeps us in a state of stress.

Could it be that perhaps, there is a legitimate form of meditation? If there were, it would have to be something that an individual would do throughout the day. There is one thing that we have the right to do at any given time. We have the right to dis-identify with the self at any given time or place. That type of meditation is not something one does as a holiday game, that’s the meditation of hard work. That hard work is the parent of real personal power. That is the power to defeat convention.

The Question of Prayer December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 13) The Question of Prayer.
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PARTICIPANT: Does prayer fit into this?

WW: Excellent. One of these times I’m going to surprise all of you and answer a question with one sentence.

(Participant laughter.)

You know what I’m going to do here is to dive into this, break it down, figure it out, and see if we can come up with a clear picture of prayer. This is really a quite serious matter because I’m sure most of us have participated in this activity, and some of us have probably been very devout about it. I didn’t say we’ve been serious about it. To be devout about it and to be serious about it are two entirely different matters. To be devout about it is to accept what we have been taught about prayer and then to jump off of that lily pad and go on for the rest of our lives without a really looking seriously at what prayer means and what we’re doing with it. After all, nearly everyone prays with the same basic elements of prayer, and if everyone is doing it, who are we to question?

So, there are two basic aspects of prayer, four if you count the introduction and ending, and there are two schools of prayer. For some reason people think they need an introduction to make sure the deity is listening, as well as an ending to sign off and let the deity know that we’re done. It’s almost as if someone was on a radio call and made initial contact, gave a message, and then signed off. That’s the idea that people seem to have; that God is only going to be listening at a certain time according to our schedule. What would you think if our every feeling, drive, and idea with which we are identified goes straight to God? Wouldn’t that mean we are, in effect, praying all day long? If all of that information is getting through, all day long, then most of us are in deep shit. It would be as if we accidentally called God on a cell phone when we got up in the morning, then unknowingly left the call open all day long.

I’m acquainted with a fellow who accidentally bumped the call button on his cell phone while it was in his pocket. Unfortunately for him, he was going into a strip club. And to his misfortune, the call just happened to be to his wife.

(Participant laughter.)

Do you think, perhaps, that’s what we’ve been doing for all these years?

PARTICIPANT: If that really is the case, I gotta’ get out there and make some serious amends. There’s been some pretty wild stuff at the other end of the phone. Lucky for me the Good Lord doesn’t expect perfection or I’d be doomed for hell, right now!

(Participants’ laughter).

WW: The idea of perfection is something that we can address later in the weekend if time permits.
In the case of Delta, all of that with which we are identified goes through. All of that talk from the trolls, all of those emotions, all of this fallacy—that is the message that’s getting through to Delta. That is the reason I keep hammering away at the idea of dis-identification. If we can stand back and covertly look over the shoulder of self, those ideas then become inert, having no chemistry. The part that does the looking is the part that’s being looked at. Then we will have taken control of the cell phone.

According to Mr. Webster, the origin of the word “pray” means to request or ask. This basic aspect of prayer is used in entirely different ways by the world school or exoteric school, versus the esoteric school. Quite naturally, those who teach the world school ideas don’t see themselves as teaching an exoteric teaching. When they pray or speak of prayer, they see their teaching as a seriously esoteric or spiritual matter. It may seem like an inconsequential matter or an argument about the meaning of words, but I would argue that there is a huge difference between the teachings of these two schools. Let’s look seriously at the intent and meaning of the two schools of prayer and then I think it will become evident that the two meanings of prayer are quite incompatible with one another.

Let’s look first at exoteric prayer. According to the world school, which is used at virtually every church, mosque, and temple, a fickle god is asked to remove resistance. Isn’t that the real content of asking? Haven’t we been asking God to remove resistance? I won’t go through resistance in detail again because we pretty well covered that, but isn’t that the essence of prayer to ask God to remove the very thing that makes life possible? If I recall correctly, we established that the element of resistance must be a part of every event. You can check this out. There may be varying degrees and types of resistance, but it is there with us always. Are we going to ask our god to change the rules of the universe and delete the element of resistance for a particular event because we don’t like it or don’t understand it? It’s more likely that God would temporarily remove gravity from the earth than to remove resistance from an event that we don’t understand!

How about our lack of humility before God, or whatever our vision of god may be? Are we so brazen and shameless that we would fancy ourselves able to better know what we need than does God? Don’t we say that we have a loving and caring god, then turn around and pray as though God is paying no attention at all?

PARTICIPANT: But we do have needs. I need food, clothing, and shelter.

WW: I’m going to give you something to work on. You can check this out further for yourself. You don’t look to be malnourished. Those are very nice clothes. We’re in a sheltered building with air conditioning. Why do you say that you have needs?

PARTICIPANT; Because I still need to obtain those things.

WW: When?

PARTICIPANT: Well, tomorrow or next month.

WW: So then, you have a projected image of insufficiency in material things. You’ve probably never suffered from the lack of food, never gone naked, never been without shelter. I saw you parking your very fine car. How much do you want? I’m not picking on you! We all do this! We’re all projecting to something else. We’re living in Tokyo time or Paris time. Rather than living with grace, we’re telling God that life is insufficient and that he needs to get on the stick and take care of us. We see life as a negative value.

How about our disrespectful picture of God? Is our god so fickle that he would have a master process for the way life must operate, then turn around and throw a brick at us just for the hell of it?

PARTICIPANT: But he does throw bricks at us!

WW: How so?

PARTICIPANT: I was in a car wreck a couple of weeks ago that was completely out of my control.

WW: People also get killed in car wrecks.

PARTICIPANT: Isn’t that a brick?

WW: Now we’re back to the question of resistance. Okay, let’s look at potential. In physics we have the potential of energy of mass. It doesn’t mean that the mass will explode, it just means that it has a potential of energy. We have the potential of charge in an electric field. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to use that potential, but the potential is there. We have the potential to get killed in a car wreck. It doesn’t mean that we will get killed, but we could. That would be extreme resistance. Our drive to travel safely requires corresponding and extreme levels of awareness. If we didn’t have the potential to have a serious collision, we could just lay back, close our eyes, and let happen what does. It is the potential of resistance that requires the level of awareness. You must know that God didn’t make automobiles. The traffic game is a man-made game and you’re not required to play it. I’ve met several people who choose not to play that game because of the risks involved.

Now for the esoteric idea. The esoteric school has a different view of asking in prayer. This asking isn’t just a cheap request, but instead requires effort from the person who is doing the asking. If a person asks for a degree in electronic engineering, that person will have to do a great deal of work to make it happen. It will take a lot of drive and a lot of resistance. If a person asks for knowledge regarding spiritual matters it will, in the same way, require drive and resistance. The person asking for knowledge would take on the unpleasant task of recognizing that his objective is to observe an idea. Asking, in this regard, would involve a degree of initiative on the part of the asking party. The more a person works, the greater is his asking. This type of asking is not a freebee. Asking for a freebee isn’t really asking at all, is it? That type of prayer is only a wish.

What about the other aspect of prayer, which would be to give thanks? Similarly to asking in prayer, giving thanks in the world school means to be thankful that resistance didn’t come along in a big way and cause us to have so-called “problems.” Anyone can do that. It’s much more difficult to be thankful for resistance. Very few people are thankful for resistance.

PARTICIPANT: How about when people say they’re thankful for food at their table?

WW: I’m sure I sound like a cynic, and in fact, I could be called a cynic by the literal definition of the word, but look at what we’re really being thankful for. Aren’t we thankful that resistance didn’t come along and make it difficult to put food on the table? I’m not saying that this is not being thankful and it certainly is better than nothing at all. However, do we really see that the value in physical goods is because of a spiritual occurrence?

Maybe I can more simply state my case. The worldly man, or the natural man, is thankful for worldly things. I know what you’re thinking. Fine food, automobiles, a beautiful home, a new ski boat. Isn’t this what we think of when we talk about worldly things or worldly possessions? Let me list some more worldly things. How about attention from other people? How about being recognized for our contribution in some field? How about getting other people to behave the way we want them to? How about seeing resistance as a negative value? How about seeing resistance as coming from the devil? These are the types of “things,” which I’ll put in quotation marks, because these “things” are every bit as real as the things of the strictly physical sense. The worldly man or natural man will shape the thanks he makes around these worldly “things.”

Let’s try a different angle on this. There are plenty of guys out there like me. I’ve worked hard for a living, I ride horses and a motorcycle, I like to hunt dove and quail, fish for trout. We don’t like to talk about feelings, but the fact is, we operate on them, regardless of whether we’re worldly types or spiritual types, regardless of whether our interests are, for the moment, exoteric or esoteric. When I catch a trout I get a feeling. When my horse performs well I get a feeling. When I get a new worldly possession I get a feeling. It’s all about feeling. Feelings and worldliness cannot be separated. When someone thinks they are praying about spiritual matters, they really are praying in regard to a feeling that is gratifying. They’re just kidding themselves.

So what might thankfulness in prayer be, according to the esoteric school? How about this definition? When a person is being thankful that he is recognizing his hopelessly worldly state, he is then involved in a spiritual act, a thankful prayer. That is his only chance. Does that make sense? Recognition of what one is doing. Recognizing that one cannot force an escape from this by thought; the recognition that one cannot force the control of thought, desire, the basic urges, with intellect. “A man’s got to know his limitations.” You can find something worthwhile in the darnedest places.

PARTICIPANT: If what you speak about—the views that you have—are true, then you are saying …all of my effort, my spiritual effort, if that’s the right word, has been futile. My pastor and friends have unintentionally sent me in the wrong direction; that they are going in the wrong direction, that after all of this effort my inner man is just a mess.

WW: You obviously read the bible then?

PARTICIPANT: I’m not a bible scholar but I do read it.

WW: And I too am not a scholar, but have done some Bible reading. Paul was someone I would rate as a most articulate and spiritual person, yet even he said that no good dwelled within him. He didn’t say that he may have a little bit of good in him; he said he had none! That’s a very serious statement. When bible believers read the bible, they sometimes just ignore statements like this or think that the statement doesn’t apply to them. I assert that Paul was talking about all of us. If that’s a good enough statement for Paul, isn’t it good enough for you and I? Do you think that maybe you and I are better than Paul? Do you think maybe you and I are 50% good or 20% good or even 5% good when Paul had 0% good in him? Hell, if I’m in the same condition as Paul, then that makes me as happy as a lark!

Do we want to struggle with every brand and type of self-improvement or do we want to dis-identify from self and move on?

It may be interesting to try reading the works of Paul next time in the context of the picture of man that we have drawn. Listen to what he says about not having the ability to control the trolls. He has to turn the whole thing over to a higher idea.

ED: I can respect your take on things, but you seem to have a negative perspective on every philosophy out there except your own. Is there any philosophy that you recommend or subscribe to? Is every philosophy out there wrong except your own?

WW: And what philosophy is it that I have promoted?

ED: Well …your picture of man and …the rest that goes with it.

WW: How much is two plus two?

ED: Four, of course.

WW: What are the oceans made of?

ED: Salt water, of course.

WW: And what powers the light bulbs in your home?

ED: Electricity.

WW: Your answers are concise and comprehensive …factual …without doubts. So, were your answers factual observations or were they a philosophy?

ED: Fact!

WW: Then we have our answer! And I don’t want to subscribe to anyone’s philosophy.

ED: But you subscribe to your own philosophy, your own ideology. When you say that other ideologies are wrong, that’s an ideology in itself.

WW: No, Ed. That is an observation. For you, it’s an ideology because you haven’t made the observations …yet. The things I’ve spoken of are just ideology for anyone in this room who hasn’t yet checked it out. That’s the reason I urge you to check it out. If everyone just accepts or rejects the observations we’ve talked about, as you do, then it’s all just another ideology to be believed or disbelieved like the rest of the world.

ED: All right, you say that you make observations. I know how you like to do things in a scientific way. In the scientific community, you make observations, then someone else repeats the experiments to verify the observations. You’re like the Lone Ranger out there with nobody to back you up.

WW: Well Ed, that’s the reason you are here. Why don’t you do the experiments, make the observations, then you can be the one to back up the observations for yourself?

ED: Well, who has time to go out and research every ideology that’s out there?

WW: I’ve punched holes in a lot of ideologies, but I don’t think you’re getting it. My point here is that methodology, which is made up of ideologies, is little more than a means by which to be get away from the things in life that disturb us. It isn’t so much the individual methods or ideologies that I am indicting, but rather the idea of methodology as a way of living. The indictment is against the idea of running away from disturbance and the methods that ensue. It just so happens that everyone and their dogs have methods.

Another question?

PARTICIPANT: Do you do private counseling?

WW: Counseling? No. I occasionally have discussions that are best carried on in private. I wouldn’t call it counseling.

Question?

PARTICIPANT: What about sacred texts? Islam, Hindu …other Eastern texts.

WW: You can take college level classes on comparative religion. There’s enough information out there to consume a lifetime if you like. Personally, I care to only pick up some basic ideas of what the various religions have to offer. It’s the same story in every country and every religion. They are taught and consumed by literalist believers with little regard to the possible esoteric values. We may talk a little bit about Buddhist practices if we have time to fit it into an appropriate theme.

What do we mean by sacred texts and how do the texts become sacred? I have a sacred saddle. My father custom ordered the saddle about 70 years ago and rode it on the cattle ranch where he grew up. I used the saddle, retired it, disassembled it, carefully cleaned it, had someone make leather repairs made to it, oiled it, reassembled it, and set it up on a saddle stand. It’s quite the collector’s item. It has become sacred. There really isn’t any difference between a sacred text and a sacred saddle, is there? Don’t we get a feeling that something is sacred? That’s what it’s really all about. I get a sacred feeling when I see that saddle and someone else gets a sacred feeling from a religious artifact. Are these writings, icons, ideas, places, or anything inherently sacred, or does man make things sacred? To whom are these things sacred? Is that saddle sacred to anyone but me?

How about conflicting texts? If one religion has a text that conflicts with another text from another religion, then how could both texts be inherently sacred? You see, if we really look at it and can admit to it, nothing is sacred except to those who have chosen to make it that way.

PARTICIPANT: Even with all of the faults with religion, don’t you still think children should be raised in a church, just for the training and experience and life lessons?

WW: Parents can decide for themselves as to the type of authoritarian indoctrination that will be imposed on their children. I really don’t think that’s the real reason people send their children to church, for the most part. If that were the case you would see Hindus sending their children down to the nearest Catholic Church or we would see Catholics sending their children to a mosque. Of course, people don’t often do that. What’s really going on here? Is it perhaps that people are trying to create little clones?

The Dalai Lama and the Teachings of the World December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 14) The Dalai Lama and the Teachings of the World.
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PARTICIPANT: I’ve had an interest in the Dalai Lama and his teachings. I think the world is a better place because he has been so tireless in spreading his message worldwide. I don’t see what harm there could be when someone encourages others to treat their neighbors with love and compassion.

WW: I also have had an interest in the Dalai Lama and his teaching. Are you asking for my input on his teachings?

PARTICIPANT: Yes. It seems to me that it would be hard to say anything against a teaching that advocates freedom and peace and goodwill. He’s very clear about peace and how to behave toward our fellow humans. He’s very clear about the need for improving our inner being.

WW: He is indeed clear about those things. There is an easy acid test to see if someone is advocating spiritual ideas, or conversely, the ideas of the world. When someone is advocating spirituality, it’s easy to be fooled by the real intent behind the beautiful sounding words—words that are almost universally accepted as having spiritual value. Words like peace and love and harmony are trigger words that we associate with spirituality, and speakers often use them to appeal to the senses of their audience. The speaker’s real intent is not only hidden from the audience, but is even hidden from the speaker himself. It’s what happens when the audience, as well as the speaker, have not observed or re-evaluated their basic urges and their methods of satisfying those urges.

How about if we look at the acid test and see how it applies to the Dalai Lama? I prefer to discuss an ideology rather than an individual, but in the case of world political or religious leaders like the Dalai Lama, these types of individuals have become virtual religions or institutions in themselves.

What we’re looking for in someone’s teachings are the ideas of the world. That would be the outer world and the inner world because they must be inseparable. The first would be the teaching or glorification of ideals. You know, the carrot on a stick. Maybe some of you are too young to know that the origin of the term came from a carriage driver holding a long stick with a carrot tied to it in front of the horse’s face. The horse is then motivated to go, but he’ll never quite catch up to the carrot. The carrot that someone is putting in front of us must appeal to us in order for it to control us. It always appeals in some way to our most basic urges in the picture of man, the bottom third of the awareness function—the attempt to get through life without being disturbed. How about if we see how this applies to the Dalai Lama?

PARTICIPANT: I’ve got it! With peace, love, and harmony, everyone will get along. That’s the carrot. We’ll all be non-disturbed if we follow his ideals.

WW: Excellent. Isn’t that simple if we …

PARTICIPANT: Wait, wait. He might get his kingdom back if everyone will just get along.

WW: Free Tibet. The urge to eliminate disturbing events is often disguised as a noble cause, particularly if someone in the robe of a holy man presents it. The key here, as you can see, is the advocacy of an ideal.

A DIFFERENT PARTICIPANT: But can’t we have good ideals and bad ideals?

WW: Did you ever hear someone promoting an ideal that didn’t appeal to the basic urges of the masses? You may wish to note something else here. If large numbers of people are attracted to someone’s ideas, you can bet that it’s a world idea, not a spiritual idea. “The gate is small and the way is narrow and few are they who will find it.”
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PARTICIPANT: You like to use Bible references.

WW: I’m really not that keen on Bible quotes because it may be seen as quoting an authority to convince people that I’m right. However, folks are familiar with the bible stories, and there are some very interesting analogies. The same reason I used the stick and carrot analogy.

PARTICIPANT: Can you give us another example of a story that has analogous intent?

WW: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

PARTICIPANT: Huh? That’s it?

WW: Literally, Humpty Dumpty was a cannon that was mounted on a wall in England. The little nursery rhyme may have been written with a hidden meaning. We’re all Humpty Dumpty. You’ve heard the saying, “He’s sitting on the fence.” The self is continuously sitting on the wall of duality, indecision, trying to decide on the best way to satisfy the basic urges. The fall of man applies to all of us. We’ve all fallen when we came into this world by our continuous judgment of events as good or evil, that is, pain is evil, pleasure is good—that those urges must be satisfied. Like poor Humpty, we’ve all become fragmented. The awareness function isn’t just in three pieces, as in our picture, but many, many pieces of partial ideas. Even the great power of a king can’t put us together again. Look at the picture of man. There is a vertical line going right up the middle of the awareness function. That’s the wall we’re sitting on.

PARTICIPANT: Are you saying that we shouldn’t try to satisfy these urges?

WW: No! Here in the Southwest you’ll end up in the hospital with potentially serious trouble if you don’t satisfy the basic urge for a drink of cool water. We’ve been recording this entire session, and if you went back to listen to it, I don’t think you would even hear an implication that we should do such a thing. To do that would be to work backwards and change our behavior so that we change our attitude to have a good feeling and outlook. I’m not interested in promoting behaviorism!

I see that we’re getting too far off of the subject of the Dalai Lama and his teachings. Let’s get back to that. Does someone remember where we left the poor Dalai Lama standing?

PARTICIPANT: Ideals and the noble cause.

WW: Ideals. This is the first idea of the world teaching or exoteric teaching. It’s been said, “By their fruits you will know them. Thorn bushes don’t produce figs and thistles don’t produce grapes.” How could this apply to the Dalai Lama? Doesn’t he hold up an ideal for us to chase? Doesn’t that chase produce a sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach?
It’s been said, “All of the priests are greedy for gain. All practice deceit. They cry ‘peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” “Greedy for gain”—that’s the struggle toward the ideal. Did you think of greed as applying only to material things? Isn’t the struggle toward any ideal a form of greed? Doesn’t the struggle produce the same fruit internally regardless of what we’re struggling for? “All practice deceit”—that’s deceiving one’s self and others—deceit regarding greed. Isn’t that the source of the duality? I used to work with a guy who had a saying, “What we got and what we want are not one and the same.” He didn’t realize what a valuable saying he had.

The Dalai Lama, as well as millions of others, speak of peace, but promote inner friction. That inner friction produces heat that boils out of the fissures of society and contributes to outward conflicts. They deceive themselves as well as others.

I find it very interesting to listen to the Dalai Lama and others when they speak of peace, love, charity, understanding, and so on, yet I don’t hear them speak of the struggle toward the ideal and the Humpty Dumpty condition that we have gotten ourselves into. How is a person to ever experience inner peace, love, and charity while struggling toward the ideal with a fractured awareness? They are obviously unaware that there is such a condition.

I can give you a direct quote from the Dalai Lama. He stated, “I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.” I have a three-year-old grandchild who actively practices that same ideology. Is it any wonder that I’ve said so many times that this is a childish idea? Is it any wonder that people of the world seek him out, then listen to him with gleeful adoration? This is little more than a set-up for a sucker punch. Rather than a new direction in which to move, it’s a rehash of the same old thing that we’ve been doing. The Dalai Lama promotes the idea of struggling for an ideal; Freud believed that we are hopelessly locked in to it with no substantial means to find another way. I don’t think Freud took Delta into consideration.

Let me break away for just a minute or two and say something about happiness and resistance before the thought escapes me. We’ve talked about the potential of resistance to our drives. The resistance may be substantial or negligible, active or passive. As long as you have a drive to happiness, your are going to meet with resistance. You will find things that get in the way of happiness. What would happen if you ceased the drive to happiness?

PARTICIPANT: You wouldn’t meet with resistance.

WW: Precisely. Give it a trial. Enough said.

Methodology. This is the second idea of the world teaching. It’s taken right out of our picture of man, that is, side one or side two of the awareness function. It’s interesting to me to look at the quotes from the Dalai Lama. He usually pulls ideas from side two. He encourages us to cultivate right thoughts, right attitude, right behavior and compassion. Doesn’t that sound good? According to the Dalai Lama and most religious leaders, pleasing and believing (side two) are good things. Complaining and belligerence (side one), are bad things. Did you ever try to cultivate right thought or compassion? How would you cultivate the plants in any garden? Would you get out your hoe and start chopping away at the squash or spinach plants? When you cultivate a garden, don’t you chop away at the weeds and ignore the squash and spinach? The squash and spinach will do just fine if left alone.

The third idea of exoteric teaching is to look for evidence that the struggle and methods are working. Success. “I exhibited such and such of behavior, or followed some ideology, or I practiced meditation, and achieved something in my drive to the ideal.” Achievement and success. Isn’t that what we do? It’s interesting to read what the Dalai Lama has to say on this. He can go into a mile-long homily on how to achieve success in the drive to happiness. We look for some measurement to rate our ideals and methodology. How many seminars are put on at convention centers based on the measurement of achievement or success?

The fourth idea of exoteric teaching is blame in the face of failure. When the struggle fails to produce the intended results, we can blame our own methods or we can blame someone else’s methods, neither one of which change the facts. Blaming ourselves is guilt or shame. If we blame someone else, we become angry. The Dalai Lama likes to blame the Chinese communists. They’re methodology is different from his.

I suppose the whole thing is understandable. If I got kicked out of a palace like the one he lived in, I’d probably be looking for blame too.

PARTICIPANT: So far you haven’t said anything good about the Dalai Lama. Are you trying to say that he’s completely full of it? Are you saying that he has nothing of value in his views?

WW: No, no. If you pick through what he has to say, you can find some gems. The trouble with that is separating what is useful and what is fallacy. Look, if a person starts out with his basic postulate that “… the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness,” then the gems get mixed up with the most basic, infantile, and crude idea on which we operate. The belief that one’s own happiness is important is to make one’s self the center. Even if one tries to get around that by forcing compassion towards others, as he teaches, there is nonetheless a self-motive. That self-motive is at the core of everything that we’ve discussed up to this point. That self-motive is the very thing that makes us a natural person instead of a spiritual person. The basic Buddhist ideas are aimed at one’s own experience, happiness, as well as one’s place in a supposed future life. The Buddhists speak of selflessness, but their own comments in the next sentence betray them! At any given moment, we are either concerned about our own experience or we are not! Our concern for “our” experience—an experience that we “own”—is what our little caved-in world is made of. Our concern for this owned experience is where we have gone awry. To complicate matters, the fragmented awareness makes this difficult to see. For what reason would I want to step into the meditative cave of the experience of self?

I’ve said this many times, but I’ll say it again in regard to Buddhism. We must look with an eye of critical evaluation. The way to check something out is to find out what is not workable, regardless of whether it’s a spiritual matter or not. If we look for truth, we will fool ourselves and end up in a deeper hole of self. If we look for the fallacy, perhaps we’ll find the truth of the matter.

On that same theme, I speak very little about understanding and compassion because I assert that these are not qualities that can be cultivated. If we get far enough along in this talk, we can discuss understanding and compassion in a very limited context as a resultant phenomenon, not a cultured quality to be owned.

Let’s look at one more thing about the Dalai Lama and then I’ll leave the poor lost sole alone, struggling along in his miserable condition, unlikely to see his way out, even if he lives another hundred years. There, but by the grace of God, go I.

Did you ever look into the history of Tibet? Under the reign of the Dalai Lama it was a feudalistic theocracy, much like other feudalistic theocracies, reminiscent of Europe in centuries past. The wealthiest landowners were the many lamas with the wealthiest being the Dalai Lama. Young people were whisked away by agents of the lamas and forced into slavery under the guise of making them into monks. At one time, earlier in the twentieth century, 50% of the men were so-called monks and a significant percentage of them were really just unpaid conscripts, which is a nice way of saying slaves. It was a lifelong slavery with no escape. If they ran away, the thugs of the lamas chased them down and made an examples them. People who traveled to the area wrote of extreme brutality; beatings, amputations, eyes gouged out.

Murder was unlawful, so many were left out in the elements to die by God’s will. This is not a story that I’m making up. If you go to the internet you can look up legitimate articles on life under the theocratic rule before the Dalai Lama went into exile. The serfs and slaves in Tibet lived with totalitarianism and violence under the nose of the theocracy. Those who were not monks were systematically taxed into poverty to insure that the Buddhist lamas maintained power.

This all went on while the Dalai Lama ruled from his thousand-room palace on the mountain. The Dalai Lama also had brothers that were appointed to some official capacity. Do you think the bunch of them never traveled outside of the palace? Do you think that maybe this palace had no windows from which to look out? Surely, the Dalai Lama didn’t directly participate in these things, but it went on during his watch. These things were carried on by those over which he had authority, those who professed one belief, but did not act accordingly. The cruelty was carried out by those who professed peace, love, and compassion. We surely can’t live in the past, but neither can we ignore and deny it. The authoritarian rule imposed by the Chinese communists, who kicked out the Dalai Lama, is considered by many in Tibet to be a huge relief from the rule imposed by the lamas.

This is the man who speaks of peace, love, understanding, brotherhood, and a hundred other flowery words that become meaningless when we look at what he does and has done—the fruits of his efforts. He has spoken of the disparity of the rich and the poor in the capitalist system of the United States. He may be very right, but I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It’s a strange phenomenon that he gets a free ride from so many individuals who would rather close their eyes than to check out the teachings and history of this man whom, at that very least, was a complacent administrator in a cruel society.

The adoration given to him may exceed that of the Pope. When you see someone who’s held in such high regard by the world, you can bet that the person is pushing world ideas. Stop and think about it. If so-called spiritual leaders talked about the true nature of the inner man and the struggle with resistance—that struggle that is inner turmoil—they wouldn’t be regarded as spiritual leaders at all. They would just be insignificant nobodies, like me. People don’t want to evaluate inner chaos, they want a spiritual leader that will make them feel reeeeal gooood.

I’m fascinated with this strange phenomenon of public recognition of spiritual leaders, particularly now, in the age of information. I’m going to make a guess that this nice young lady sitting here had no idea of the hypocrisy in the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

PARTICIPANT: None! I’ve been scammed.

WW: Well …let’s just say that you, like most all of us …we aren’t thorough in our examination of ideas and events. You’re not a victim.

PARTICIPANT: This is getting depressing.

WW: Depressing? To me it’s a thrill to be an investigator into the unending supply of bullshit that this world has to offer. You know, if you keep up with it, you may discover new little angles of relationships that you have never seen before—possibly that no other person has seen from quite that perspective. That’s not an ideal, it’s just what happens when you pick up a paintbrush and paint what you see. You’ll end up with a unique perspective.

This brings me to another point. Although an individual perspective may be unique, the general points of this teaching are not unique or new. A person may be able to discover that two plus two is four, but the person didn’t make it that way. Two plus two was four long before humans found a way to write it down in an equation. Beware of self-deceiving individuals who claim to have something new. There is nothing new under the sun when it involves these matters.

PARTICIPANT: All of this talk about the Dalai Lama sounds interesting. I’d like to read up on the guy a little bit. Are there any books regarding his teachings that you recommend so I can see it for myself?

WW: I would say that any book would be fine as long as you can find one that provides direct quotes, preferably not taken out of context, and very little commentary from the author. It would be faster and easier to look it up on the Internet. You may notice that there are possibly hundreds of glowing praises of the man for every critique. That’s a way that you can determine that he teaches the ideas of the world. The world loves him. When you’re reading up on the man, you may find that it’s a wasted effort to read the introduction or commentary by the author. To read the commentary will tell you something about the author. To read the quotes will tell you about the Dalai Lama.

PARTICIPANT: You are obviously tough on people who don’t practice what they preach.

WW: I’m not tough on individuals; I’m tough on the ideologies that they’re preaching. There is a difference. I do sometimes make exceptions and name names for high profile individuals like political and religious leaders, but even then, the purpose is to expose their false teachings to their followers. If we really look into it, it’s the followers who make the leaders, more than the leaders who make the followers. The Dalai Lama is probably the world’s most universally respected religious leader. Millions of admirers from all over the world think he’s wonderful. I think that makes his ideology open for critical evaluation. My real interest is in his followers. I’m repeatedly amazed that so few followers will question basic values that he promotes. It’s so simple, even a slow-witted person like me can find a few minutes to take a serious look. Here’s the trick: it doesn’t require wit, it requires will, vital interest. Vital interest comes from seeing the necessity.

PARTICIPANT: How about you? Do you practice what you preach?

WW: Sure! I’ve said that I practice hedonism! I’ve even given some fairly sordid details of the whole messy business.

PARTICIPANT: But you have also described the way out.

WW: And I may be totally full of it! I have no followers and I don’t want any. Everyone has to find out for themselves if the way I’ve described has any value. Some people find no value in it and that’s entirely their business. Others may see value in it some years down the road. For others, it’s just one more ideology to put on their stack.

PARTICIPANT: Do you think humans will ever get it right?

WW: Not a chance.

PARTICIPANT: Not a chance?

WW: Of course not! If everything fell into place and everyone got it right, there would be no more need of an awareness function! I hope that I never get it right! If I ever get it right, I’ll just shoot myself and get it over with.

Another question?

PARTICIPANT: This whole thing. …I don’t mean the Dalai Lama business …but everything that we have gone over today …makes me question who I am. If who I am has just been a lifelong exercise in futility, then who am I or who will I become? If I accept what you say, then I almost need to start over from scratch and become someone else. The whole business is bewildering.

WW: You are confused.

PARTICIPANT: Confused, perplexed.

WW: If you are confused then I’m probably doing my job. If you were not confused, then it could mean that you were not listening, or it could mean that I just sold you the same old world idea and that you bought it without critical evaluation. Neither of those scenarios is workable. If you are confused, then maybe it’s because you’re taking a serious look at what has not been workable. That’s what we’re interested in. I think I said earlier that we aren’t here to come out of this feeling gooood. If that were the case, then I’d give everyone a coloring book and a box of crayons and send you home with some hippie love flowers in your hair. You are doing well to be confused. Keep up the good work.

PARTICIPANT: Thanks, I think.

Who am I? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 15) The Great Questions.
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WW: Your question regarding who you are brings to mind another angle that is one of my favorites, and this would be the time to discuss it. It’s the subject of the “great questions.” These are questions that have been asked by man, presumably for as long as man has been here, or at least as long as history records. People from every primitive tribe that modern man has discovered have asked these questions. People in every great society from Mesopotamia to current times have asked these questions. In some way or another, these questions may have been asked by virtually everyone on Earth. Strangely enough, if you take a class on philosophy at the university, the professor will probably take up these questions as if it somehow was related to high academia. For some reason they think that those people who spend a great deal of time contemplating these questions are deep thinkers or are somehow serving humanity.

One great question would be: Who am I? How many times have you in some way, possibly indirectly, asked this question? How any times have you heard other people ask this question? What would be a satisfactory answer? Can there be a satisfactory answer?

We can go back and look at our picture of man to get started on this question. Does anyone want to venture a guess about from where this question arises?

PARTICIPANT: From the trolls.

WW: Correct. We spend most of our lives deeply identified with the trolls, therefore giving us at least some sense of identity. Listen to the statements we make. “I am angry. I am kind. I am aggressive. I am a Catholic. I am a Democrat, a carpenter, a parent, a victim, a winner …” and the list goes on and on. We have identified with static names and ideologies. We still have a sense of nothingness on rare occasion, and instead of realizing that we may have stumbled upon truth, we struggle to obtain more identity. The identification process comes quite naturally to us because we’ve been lulled into complacency.

I get a real kick out of watching the phenomenon of teens in their efforts to become someone. During the teen years people often begin to alter their speech, behavior and appearance to seek out an identity. I’m not making an argument that an identity cannot be manufactured. Indeed, I argue conversely that our identities are manufactured! I would argue that our identities are illusions!

Lets look with a critical eye at a few of these identities. Did you ever notice when someone catches you off guard and asks, “Who are you,” that you may draw a blank for a few seconds while you look for an answer as to who you are? This may just be a prod from Delta trying to tell you that somethin’ here just ain’t right.  What do you answer when someone asks, “Who are you?” Look carefully and you will see that this is not an easy question to answer. I assert that it cannot be answered honestly at all.

Are you a carpenter? That isn’t who you are; it’s what you do for a living. What if you got fired one day and got a job the same day selling lumber? Were you a carpenter in the morning and a salesman in the afternoon?

I sometimes play a game on my horse on weekends. Does that make me a cowboy only on weekends or am I a cowboy all the time? I would argue that I’m not a cowboy at all; it’s just something I’ve done for recreation.

Suppose you take sides with some political party. Does that make you a Republican or a Socialist, or is that just a party with which you identify? Are you a parent or is that just a responsibility that you have taken on? Are you a fisherman or is that an outdoor sport in which you’ve been active?

What do you think would happen if you gave up all of these identities? Do you think you would dry up and blow away?

(Participant laughter, inaudible comments.)

It does sound a little ridiculous, but indeed we do keep many of our identities in an attempt to give us a sense of security. Where does this, our insecurity come from? We’ve struggled toward a long and unending string of ideals and a variety of fractured methods to achieve “success.” That so-called success is flighty and hard to grasp, and if we grasp it, greed takes hold and the so-called success is gone because our appetite for the ideal is insatiable. At the very best, it’s a temporal, fleeting success. Now we’re back again to a sense of insecurity that must be addressed. After all, we wouldn’t want to have a sense of nothingness would we? We want to be a somebody! We want to have substance! We need even more identity, more ideals, better methodology, and some new measure of success.

Do you see the difficult time we have with this question of Who am I? We end up with a not-so-merry-go-round of ideals, achievement, measurement, failure, and eventually blame and insecurity. We’ve made things get very complicated for ourselves by not reevaluating the values of self. As it turns out, the who has been completely manufactured by man, and is not at all an inherently functioning part of man. Do we see that this who stands in the way of any possibility of functioning according to our original spiritual design as long as we remain identified with it?

The self, the personality, has become huge, demanding. Its appetite is insatiable. It consumes huge amounts of energy. The awareness function has been essentially asleep, hypnotically entranced by the trolls that have convinced the self that they are the awareness function. Let’s put this a simpler way—very simple. The awareness function has become identified with ideologies and it follows that we ask the fraudulent question: Who am I? What’s my answer to that question? I am not a who.

Questions?

PARTICIPANT: What am I supposed to do, give up myself? Do I really want to turn myself into a personality vacuum?

WW: A fair question. You don’t have to give up yourself if you don’t want to, but what are you afraid of? Do you think you’ll go into a coma? Do you think that your memory will be expunged? Do you think that you won’t be able to find your way home? Will you turn into a vegetable?

Look at what we are now. We’re a bunch of would-be time lords, trying to live in the past and future. We’re a bunch of zombies, living a life of rote. How much worse could it get than that?

PARTICIPANT: Rote? What’s rote?

WW: That’s a word my father used. You don’t hear it anymore. It means running on sheer mechanical habit—unmitigated conditioning. As my father used to say, “Going through the motions.” When I was a boy, he would check on my brothers and me to make sure we weren’t washing the dishes by rote—going through the motions of washing the dishes without really looking to see if they were clean. We put so much value on thinking, but it is often nothing more than recalling a collection of ideas that we learned by rote, having never gone deeper into them to see if they are valid. You could say that we go through the motions of thinking. Thinking is highly overrated.

ED: Oh, great! Now you want us to quit thinking!
(Participant laughter.)

WW: Not everyone Ed, just you.

Questions, comments? Let’s go into the next great question.

Why am I Here? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 15) The Great Questions.
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Why am I here? Sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? What could possibly be wrong with asking such a question? It’s not the asking that gets us into trouble so much as answering it. If our answer was as simple as saying, “I don’t know,” we could just move on and be done with it. The trouble is, how could we possibly know such a thing?

Have you ever noticed how often a small child gets caught up in asking “why” when they have been told to do something? Do they really need to know why? Have you noticed that if you answer their question, it leads to another why question? I’m going to play a little question and answer game. I’ll ask a why question and then give myself an answer.

Q: Why am I here?
A: Because God has a need for you.
Q: Why does he have a need for me?
A: It’s all in his master plan.
Q: Why does he have a master plan?
A: So things can work out right.
Q: Why must things work out right?
A: Because God loves you.
Q: Why does God love me?
A: Because you’re his creation.
Q: Why did he create me?
A: To put you here.
Q: Why am I here?

None of these answers are satisfactory. It all leads to more why questions or they lead to a manufactured answer. In Western religion, the answer to the question “Why am I here?” has something to do with a moral test to see if our supposed ghost will drift up into the cosmos and go to the good place or the bad place. In Eastern religion, it has something to do with a moral test having to do with karma or reincarnation. In both cases, it’s a totally fabricated answer and it still leads to a long string of more why questions, each leading to more fabricated answers or more why questions. I’m not just picking on religion with this. Some believe that we were put here by aliens from some other planet. It still leads to an unending string of why questions and fabricated answers.

The poor believer, who asks this question out of insecurity, can never get to the end of this cycle. It’s really amazing to me that so many become so serious and so perplexed with this question. Why am I here? is not a serious question! The highest minds of academia, religion, psychology, and politics ponder and postulate over this question and for hell’s sake, it is not a serious question!

PARTICIPANT: What would you consider to be a serious question?

WW: When we get finished with the great questions, we can take a look at some different questions—questions that may come from a serious mind—questions that we may be able to find a legitimate answer to.

Where Did I Come From? and Where Am I Going? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 15) The Great Questions.
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I’m going to go over these next two questions together because there is a certain amount of overlap on them: Where did I come from? and Where am I going?

Like the previous questions, the only way we can come up with answers to these is to fabricate the answers. That’s another way of saying that we’re going to come up with a belief. We’ve probably all heard of the strange beliefs that the Egyptians had regarding such matters. Over the course of history in Egypt, the pharaohs changed gods several times, but there was a common thread among their beliefs: The pharaohs saw themselves as gods or at least next to a god. They even had the loony idea that if they buried their treasures and servants near their gravesites, they’d be able to keep them in the afterlife.

I’m sure there are persons out there who would like to argue the point about the loony ideas, but they are just that, and I won’t give the Egyptians a break on the excuse that they were living in an ancient culture or had not yet evolved or some other rubbish excuse. The picture of man that we drew applied to them just as it does to us and they had the same opportunity that we do to wake up and become conscious beings.

There are cultures today that are still living in the Stone Age or Bronze Age, and they have common threads with other crude tribal cultures whose paths they have never crossed and that are on the other side of Earth. In every culture I know of, there has been a common thread in the beliefs that have developed. Those common threads have carried through to today’s technologically advanced societies, and today we’re still asking the same questions as did people in the crude quasi-societal cultures: Where did I come from? and Where am I going?

What do you think is going on that the ages and distance that separate cultures has made no difference in the questions that we ask?

PARTICIPANT: We still have the same mentality; the same picture of man.

WW: Correct. Now, what is it that drives the questions?

PARTICIPANT: Inability to accept the unknown.

WW: That’s a large part of it. Insecurity is a big part. A lifetime of so-called success and failure, along with disappointment and blame, has occurred as the natural result of methodology in pursuit of the goal. Disappointment and blame follow, and insecurity about our place in life boils out from that. Damned if we don’t struggle toward another ideal and start the entire process again. We experience little or no real grace, thankfulness. We resent our lot in life. We begin to seek out something with meaning. As is our way, we turn to the people we see as authorities, and guess what? They tell us that the great questions have value, and furthermore they have the answers to those questions! We seek meaning, but we get more tripe. My mother had a saying about such things: “They are jumping from the frying pan into the fire.” Our insecurity-based questions, which are not real questions at all, lead us to more fragmented questions and answers.

PARTICIPANT: You said, “methodology in pursuit of the goal.” Can you run that by me again?

WW: Forgive me if I’ve not made my words clear. I’ve been over this so many times that it seems clear to me, but it may not be clear to others. The idea of being non-disturbed is a goal, is it not? We use the word “goal” as if it always has some lofty meaning. When I said that methodology is in pursuit of the goal, it was just a different words for the same subject; trolls chasing the ideal. I don’t want this to get too boring.

PARTICIPANT: But we need to have goals or we wouldn’t do anything.

WW: Okay, goals. If I want to paint a wall, I have a fairly close idea of the amount of work involved. I can make a fair estimate on when I’ll be done with the job. I usually plan on having some resistance or unforeseen event get in my way. Why make it into a goal? How quickly I get the job done depends on how hard I work, not on my goal.

I’ve had a couple of work supervisors who were very goal-oriented. I found that I produced the same amount of work with or without goals. The only difference I could see was the amount of mental stress. I paid attention to the goal-oriented guys I worked with and it looked to me that they we’re making excessive mistakes because they were not living in the moment. Their mind was on their goal. They were living in the wrong time zone. Their workplace was a place of misery. Even if we forget about the spiritual benefits of leaving goals behind, it has a pragmatic value.

There’s something interesting about people who think that making goals is the answer. Have you ever noticed that they aren’t satisfied to make goals for themselves? They like to make goals for people who are around them. This is particularly true when they’re in some type of leadership position.

We got off the track a little, but I think we’ve covered the great questions.

PARTICIPANT: So, you have replacement questions?

WW: Well …more like alternate questions.

What am I? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 16) Alternate Questions.
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These are questions that we’ll be able to find some answers to, unlike the previous questions that can have only fabricated answers. These questions that we’re going to look at are for someone with a sincere mind and resolute intent. It’s interesting to see some recognized authority ask a great question with a stern look and an important tone in the voice. I’ve seen it a thousand times in some way or another. They appear to be so serious, so important. They think they are so advanced, so clever, when just about everyone who’s not mentally impaired have asked the great questions. Making the questions important is not the same as asking a serious question.

What am I? What’s the difference between What am I? and Who am I? … Who am I? implies or seeks out identity. What am I? objectifies the self. Isn’t that what we want to do—to objectify the self? That’s one reason that I like the word “troll.” We can perhaps see a troll more easily as an object. How in the world is a person to see the self objectively without seeing the self as an object? That goes against the grain of our natural instincts. We don’t like the idea that we may be a point of awareness with no other ability than to place a value on what we see as “what is.” We want to be a somebody! Have you ever heard a person say that they want to be a nobody?

People say that we have a survival instinct. I can say that the trolls have a survival instinct. Our selves have become ballooned up with belief and ideology. It appears to me that we have a fear that if the self dries up, there will be nothing left of us with which to go on.

What am I? We have already established that—a point of awareness that was born to be a servant of Delta. This isn’t a belief in some philosophy that we picked up somewhere; this is a simple observation. We must be servants because that’s all we can do. What other abilities do I have? I see none! I can serve as the awareness function of an intelligence that’s immensely greater than I, or I can serve the ideal, the illusion, Mammon.

What am I? Am I not highly privileged, in that I get to be here on the face of planet Earth to see the events of life transpire as if by magic? Would you have your awareness function, along with its access to memory, your lifetime experience, totally disappear, only to take up someone else’s position? I can’t speak for anyone else on this one, but I wouldn’t trade places with anyone on Earth. Just look at it! To do so you would have no recollection of yourself. It’s a wish to be dead! Let’s make this complete. If you did trade places with someone else, and you kept your own recollection instead of theirs, you would just be you all over with the same trolls and a different outer circumstance!

Didn’t I end up in this place, Earth, through a great deal of effort from life and through no effort of my own?
If the previous points are true, then what am I? Perhaps I am a privileged and invited guest of life. What do you think it would be like, if just for a few moments, I quit the self and its baggage and began to see myself as a privileged guest? Do you think my attitude and behavior would be reflective of that?

The trouble is that we cannot serve that intelligence—whatever and wherever it is—that master intelligence that is greater than I—as long as we serve the master troll. We just cannot serve two masters at once.

PARTICIPANT: “Serve two masters” is sort of a bible quote.

WW: I just can’t resist the analogies.

PARTICIPANT: The quote actually refers to serving God vs. serving money or material things at the same time. Are you saying that we should quit trying to make money?

W.W. Certainly not! If you didn’t starve, you’d become a burden on my taxes! We’re talking about being aware of our inner motives—to confess regarding our true nature—to admit to ourselves, that is, not to confess to the authorities as guilt. Perhaps then we can experience the occasional surrender of greed, which is the obsession to serve the basic urges. Perhaps then, we can turn around and move in a different direction and keep the trolls at bay. Please don’t think that you need to give up your material possessions to make things work.

Let’s move on to the next question.

Where am I? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 16) Alternate Questions.
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Where am I? I am at the planet Earth party. Does that answer sound too frivolous for a serious question? Look around. The institutions, whether macro or micro, are based on the great questions that are quite frivolous. Are we to take these things seriously? Are we to make these things important? Are we to become anxious over frivolity?

This is a unique place in the known universe—a place inhabited by the most advanced known beings—a place where we have resistance as a gift. Here on Earth, it’s quite unlike that other place that they described to me in church many years ago. You know; do you remember our discussion about that heavenly place with no resistance and everyone is dead? Earth: the most fantastic place in the universe known to us. I am a privileged and invited guest on the fantastic planet Earth. How ungrateful is it of us to want to move on to a better place?

Questions, comments, confusion?

PARTICIPANT: No contest.

WW: Then on to another question.

What’s taking place here? December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 16) Alternate Questions.
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What’s taking place here? Now, let’s remember that we’re looking for a legitimate observation, not some counterfeit idea that’s posed as a question we have no means to check out. I don’t know how many times my mentor of many years ago said, “Check it out, check it out, check it out.” What’s taking place here? Games. Some little games and some great games, but games. Is that inappropriate? I did say that we’re here at the Earth party. We have the sociopolitical games, the business games, religion games, traffic games, sports games, the apparel games, and so on. The list of big games, little games, and sub games goes on and on. We spoke earlier of seriousness. Doesn’t this answer sound serious? Man fabricates all that goes on in this world, although man may be an expression of life. It seems to me that the importance of institutionalized ideas would have to be in question if we can determine that they’re man-made. Would the ideas have a built-in, inherent level of importance?

I worked at a place where the noontime talk was usually centered on sports. Each of these guys identified with certain teams and they took the outcome of the games quite seriously. They really didn’t see these games as just games. They were so strongly identified with the teams that some would say, “We traded so and so for someone else.” “We drafted a certain person on the second round draft.” “We’re paying a certain person too much money for what he does.” They made it sound as if they had some financial or personal interest in the team. They made the games important. Are these games inherently important? If they saw the game as only a game, would they still make them important? They became seriously emotional about the whole business of a sport.

This brings to mind an interesting observation that you may want to check out. Look at yourself and others to see if you can find the urge to become attached. We like to become attached to sports teams, ideologies, clubs, political parties, certain brands of religion, and the list goes on. This list includes our personalities, the trolls. Did you notice that all of these things to which we become attached are man-made? Can you see the way these attachments hold us down to a small space? It’s the natural thing to do. I’m interested in exposing the natural for what it is.

Let me make a little analogy here. You may have made an observation that a person who’s materially wealthy, if not careful, becomes controlled by the things that he or she owns. It can take a great deal of energy to look after one’s wealth, one’s material attachments. How about our wealth of ideas? How much energy do we expend on caring for our ideologies? Are we not wealthy when it comes to ideas and ideals? I assert that this wealth of ideas prevents us from entering the direction that we were intended to move.

I have an explanation for the drive to seek attachment or connection, which seems to me that we are all born with. This is just an explanation, so you can take it for what it’s worth. The drive for connection is designed to bring us to the recognition of our connection to an intelligence that is far greater than I. I don’t mean I personally, but the I that is each of us. The connection has always been there, but we have failed to recognize it or listen to it. Instead, we have become connected to the exoteric ideas—the trolls. We recognize and listen to the trolls. We have become humanists and hedonists.

I see Ed shaking his head. Ed thinks he’s exempt.

PARTICIPANT: Are you asking me to give up my sports channels?

WW: For some reason, we keep coming back to behavior. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but the closest thing I’ve suggested regarding behavior, is the suggestion that you keep track of your goals and methods on a counting device. I play sports, but I see it as a game. It’s not about behavior; it’s about perception. If we didn’t play the games, we would merely sit and vegetate.

We live a world of man-made institutions that are based on the great and frivolous questions that have completely fabricated, fragmented, and untested answers. Doesn’t it sound as though we live in a world of games? Wouldn’t our emotions be at least partially kept in check if we saw an event as only a part of a game?

Suppose you saw the world as a huge party that is hosted by life. The party is full of games. The games have rules, points, prizes, and penalties just like the sports games. The games have other players that are also guests of the host. Do you think that way of seeing the world would change your attitude? Did you ever tell the host at a party that you don’t like his choice of guests?

Here’s the trick to the games. Play the games; don’t let the games play you. Become the master of your act.

PARTICIPANT: So am I supposed to just up and quit my job because it’s just a game?

WW: No, no, no. Keep your job, keep your car. I’m not advocating that you change what you’re doing. This isn’t one of those wacko cults that wants you to sell off your goods and give it to the cult leader. That would be to work backwards. A world idea proposed by the sociopolitical advocates is that if we change our circumstances it will change our behavior, which will then change our attitude. I’m interested in how we see the world and the rest will follow. The idea of forcing changes of attitude, behavior, and our state of being has been a dismal mess in our own experience and throughout history.

If we’re going to discuss anything at all regarding behavior, let’s look into what a person might do, how he or she may begin to act, as the outcome of cleaning out some of those trollish ideas from the self. This brings us to the last of our four alternate questions.

PARTICIPANT: May I ask a question before we go on?

WW: Sure. Excuse me for trying to move on without asking for questions. I mistakenly assume that I’ve made everything clear and understandable for everyone else.

PARTICIPANT: I can see that what you’re saying would be of great use to see the world as a party with games. Trouble is, there are some very nasty things going on. You even talked about them …beatings, mutilation, murder. Are we not supposed to judge these things as evil?

WW: Great point. First, if man were not subject to falling into these violent practices, it would mean that there would be no resistance and we would have to go back to our earlier talk about the necessity of resistance for life. Remember our talk? No resistance, no life. If man is not subject to a fall, we could not be alive. This is a hard saying, difficult to see, difficult to apply.

Second, I’ve been around long enough now to be gray and I’ve never been beaten and obviously haven’t been murdered. I wouldn’t want to count the number of times, however, that I have experienced inappropriate feelings, emotions, as if someone or something was attacking me. That is where we have 99% of our trouble. For those situations that turn to physically interactive violence, I relinquish my position to the problem-solving approach and the experts that do that sort of thing. I don’t think that I’ve stated that the problem-solving approach has no value. If someone was about to hit me over the head with a big stick, I hope that I would see it as evil and do whatever I could to defend myself.

I think we can address a little bit more of this with our last alternate question. Are we ready to move on? No questions? Let’s go.